Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Lady Drives I

Royal Enfield was a pioneer in female ridership. Already in 1912 they had produced an enclosed "ladies" motorcycle. To try to boost female ridership, the company produced in 1916 a pamphlet called "The lady drives" featuring several female riders.

The first entry has Mrs. Walter Baseley riding a sidecar rig. In the opposite page is the following text:

"There is something irresistibly fascinating in being one's own driver -the `captain of the craft'- instead of merely reposing as a passenger in the cosy comfort of a sidecar. To have the means of journeying just when and where one's inclination leads; to take the high road or the by-road as fancy may dictate; to be as free as the air, and dependent on no one; all these delights -and many more- belong to the lady motorist".

"It is our purpose in the following pages to show that motor cycling with a a side-car combination is a pastime eminently befitting the fair sex. The illustrations have been reproduced from photographs of lady motorists who drive their own Royal Enfields; whilst their letters, which we reprint by special permission, will best describe the pleasures motor cycling has conferred upon them."

"For the lady driver a reliable, easily-controlled motor cycle is a sine qua non. In the 6-h.p. Royal Enfield Side-car Combination we offer a model which experienced lady motorists endorse as the finest vehicle on three wheels ever produced. It is beautifully constructed -everything arranged with care and discrimination- and it is tastefully finished in a style which commands admiration from motorists the world over." "The ENFIELD CYCLE Co., Ltd.

Head Offices and Works: REDDITCH.

London Office and Showrooms: 48, Holborn Viaduct, E.C."

In future instalments we will feature the other riders.

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